Book recommendations? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Book recommendations?

My dog is a little over a year old. We've had some ups and downs, but overall I'm pretty pleased with him. I have had success training him most of the basics (down, sit, come, kinda heel, very limited stay, leave it...etc) but his loose leash and more extended stays (just for starters) leave a lot to be desired. I have a busy work schedule and spend a lot of my free time with him just enjoying his company (I'll be the first to admit I've drifted away from more vigorous training) but I'd really like some book recommendations on dog training. I don't know exactly what it is I expect/want out of him yet (I change my mind a lot) but there are still some very basic things I would like for him to understand/learn and feel my limited knowledge has been all used up. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated...thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 11:48 PM
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Pretty much the same list I posted here: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post3944649 except if you want to focus on training first, then reshuffle the priority list to #3, 1, 5, 2, and (way in the back) 4.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm yeah 3 and 1 definitely seem worth a read, thanks!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 08:12 AM
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@FirstTimeGSD - thanks for posting this and saving me the trouble

So far I've read:
http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Knows-Best-Natural-Train/dp/0876056664/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375531600&sr=1-1&keywords=mother+knows+besthttp://www.amazon.com/How-Raise-Perfect-Dog-Puppyhood/dp/0307461300/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375531640&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+raise+the+perfect+dog
Neither struck me as formally about training. They seem like a good place to start. I liked Mother Knows Best, its better written and less about the author and more about the dog.

I just ordered http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Positive-Training-ebook/dp/B00DNKY8ZM/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1 from Merciel's list. Doesn't appear to be published on paper any more so you have to get it on your Kindle (b/c nobody uses a nook). There were new/used copies listed, but I didn't feel like waiting on them.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm interesting. I was gonna head over to Barnes and Noble today...thanks for saving me a trip! Yeah I am definitely looking for a more training heavy book. I don't know if the perfect book for me is out there though...something that covers a wide array of tricks/jobs for dogs to learn. Let me know how THe Power of Positive Dog Training turns out for you
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:13 PM
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Oh, if it's specifically a tricks book you're looking for, this is the one I'd recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/101-Dog-Tricks-Activities-Challenge/dp/1592533256
It's good, quick but reasonably thorough (and easy to fill in the gaps on missing little steps once you get familiar with the techniques), and then you can use those foundational steps to make up all kinds of silly new games.

ARCHMX TDCH Pongu the Insane, CD-C, RE, RL1X6, RL2X5, RL3X2 (GSD mix, b. Apr 2010)
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:24 PM
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It really depends on the kind of training you're looking to do. I like Merciel's list a lot, I've read Patricia McConnell's books The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog, and they're excellent. Not training primers, but they're really good for understanding how your behavior (tone of voice, body language, etc.) affects your dog, and what to do about that.

Bones Would Rain From the Sky is also not a training primer, but I would still highly recommend reading it. She's probably my all time favorite trainer, I went to a weekend seminar by Suzanne Clothier a few years ago, and she is absolutely amazing.

Control Unleashed does have step by step exercises, and I used many of them for Halo's foundation training. At the time Halo was young Leslie was still writing her puppy book, and it didn't come out until well past her puppyhood, so I haven't read it yet. It's supposed to be great though, some have said it's better than the original CU book, which won several awards: Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®, The Book

Another book I really like is Jean Donaldson's The Culture Clash. I read it before all of the other books listed, and it was probably the most instrumental at getting me to "think like a dog", to understand training from the dog's point of view. What we think we're teaching isn't always what the dog is learning, so for me that was very valuable insight.

I also like Sheila Booth's Purely Positive Training: Companion to Competition. She gives step by step training instructions for companion dogs, and competition obedience, agility, and Schutzhund.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ok let me try to summarize (quickly) some of the things that I have not been able to teach my dog:
-A more consistent/controlled heel: he has a loose understanding of what I mean when I say heel, and if he pulls too much on a walk and I stop moving he comes back to my side but will start tugging a bit almost as soon as we resume movement.
-A MUCH more disciplined stay: I think his separation anxiety is behind this one. We had a couple early successes with this when he was 4-5 months but my own lack of consistency has pretty much led to an almost complete disregard for the term stay.
-I feel like I give him adequate play and exercise , but if he could...he'd fetch things (literally anything...he's chased a rock before) all day long. He is constantly bringing toys and dropping them into our laps trying to force play time and it's 10 times worse when we have guests. I guess this would involve teaching him to have a place to go/stay on command

These are the most pressing issues for me at the moment...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Another book I really like is Jean Donaldson's The Culture Clash. I read it before all of the other books listed, and it was probably the most instrumental at getting me to "think like a dog", to understand training from the dog's point of view. What we think we're teaching isn't always what the dog is learning, so for me that was very valuable insight.
I really like this one too but it's a little militant about being anti-aversives. I happen to agree with Donaldson's overall philosophy (no prongs here either!) but I tend to shy away from including it on intro lists for that reason -- I feel like the forcefulness of her convictions may turn people off before they get into the rest of what she has to say. Which is too bad, because she's dead on about some of the negative fallout that can happen with those techniques.

I dunno, maybe I should re-examine my reasoning for not putting that one on starter lists. It is a really good book.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstTimeGSD View Post
Ok let me try to summarize (quickly) some of the things that I have not been able to teach my dog:
-A more consistent/controlled heel: he has a loose understanding of what I mean when I say heel, and if he pulls too much on a walk and I stop moving he comes back to my side but will start tugging a bit almost as soon as we resume movement.
-A MUCH more disciplined stay: I think his separation anxiety is behind this one. We had a couple early successes with this when he was 4-5 months but my own lack of consistency has pretty much led to an almost complete disregard for the term stay.
-I feel like I give him adequate play and exercise , but if he could...he'd fetch things (literally anything...he's chased a rock before) all day long. He is constantly bringing toys and dropping them into our laps trying to force play time and it's 10 times worse when we have guests. I guess this would involve teaching him to have a place to go/stay on command
You may have difficulty getting these things out of books. These sound like mostly proofing and precision issues, and those are best dealt with in class with a skilled instructor.

If you want loose-leash walking and a solid everyday Stay, kikopup has good youtubes on both subjects, and there are many more video tutorials out there. Actually seeing the techniques in action gives a much clearer picture than reading written descriptions, especially when it comes to the subtleties of using body position and spatial pressure to communicate positioning. Books can help, and they can help a lot, but seeing and doing are much much better.

If you want a competition Heel and a straight/fast/solid competition Stay, it's going to be very difficult to train that on your own without already having a very clear picture of what you want and how to get it. IMO these things are best learned with the aid of a good, qualified instructor. Even OTCH handlers are perpetual students for exactly this reason. At the very least, you need a set of outside eyes to help you with your form.

ARCHMX TDCH Pongu the Insane, CD-C, RE, RL1X6, RL2X5, RL3X2 (GSD mix, b. Apr 2010)
Crookytail the Tigerwuff, RL1, ITD (Akita mix, b. Jan 2011)
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